You’ve just fed your baby, they’re getting sleepy and looking deep into your eyes. Then you burp them and they spit up all over your shoulder, your hair, and your furniture. As you’re on the way to the laundry room (yet again) it’s only natural to wonder When do babies stop spitting up?
First of all, because babies can make bringing their breakfast up a pretty dramatic event, let’s clear up some of the worries you may have about spitting up:
In this article 📝
- When is spitting up a problem?
- Why do babies spit up?
- What age do babies stop spitting up?
- Is there anything else I can do to stop my baby from spitting up?
When is spitting up a problem?
One-month-olds drink about 4oz at each feed.
That doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you spilled half a cup of water over your desk, that would spread out pretty far.
A little bit of milk can make a big mess and, even if you feel like all your effort has just been burped down your baby’s front, most of their feed will still be where it needs to be.
Even milk coming out of your baby’s nose isn’t really anything to worry about. If they’re upset, it’s more likely because they’ve noticed that you’re freaking out than because they’re distressed by the spitting up.
Frequent, forceful spitting up can be a symptom of Pyloric Stenosis, where the milk can’t pass into a baby’s intestine because the muscley opening has become thick and narrow.
This is a rare condition, so bear that in mind. But some signs to watch out for are:
- Projectile vomiting, rather than spitting up. If your baby is coughing and forcing up the contents of their tummies, it’s different from a little overflow when they bring up wind.
- Limited weight gain
- Refusing feeds
- Extra crying
- Fewer wet diapers than normal (this can mean dehydration)
- Spitting up that starts or gets worse after your baby is six months old
Spitting up can also sometimes be caused by food allergies.
If this is the case and you’re breastfeeding, you might be advised to go on an elimination diet.
If your baby is sensitive to cow’s milk, that means no dairy for you either.
But, because it’s important to eat a balanced diet to support breastfeeding and keep yourself healthy, don’t try an elimination diet without asking your doctor for advice first.
Now that the scary stuff is out of the way…
Why do babies spit up?
Spitting up is so common in babies because they have immature digestive systems.
The valve at the top of their tummy is weak, and that means that it doesn’t take much to send the food right back up into their esophagus.
This is why some babies have issues with acid reflux.
Babies can spit up when they drink too fast or if their tummies are fuller than usual (for example, if they sleep through a night feed and then have to deal with your over-full boobs).
Spit-up can be a sign of overfeeding, but you should be able to avoid this if you feed them at about the same time every day.
Trapped gas also plays a role.
When your baby burps to get rid of the wind, milk can come up too.
Make sure your baby is latched well or, if bottle feeding, hold the bottle at 45 degrees to make the air bubbles rise away from the teat.
What age do babies stop spitting up?
Here’s the good news: babies outgrow spitting up.
It’s completely normal for newborns (0-3 months) to spit up every day, or even after every feed.
By the time they get to four months or so, spitting up is hopefully becoming less frequent and reducing down to just a dribble.
A lot of babies stop spitting up by the time they reach six months.
But, if your little one has reached their half birthday and they’re still rewarding you with extra laundry, don’t worry.
By the time they’re one, the spitting-up phase should be behind you for good.
Is there anything else I can do to stop my baby from spitting up?
If you’re keen to reduce the amount of spit-up you have to clean up (and who isn’t?), try out some of these tips:
- Feed your baby in a more upright position and keep them upright when they’re finished.
- Don’t jiggle your baby around too much after a feed. Gentle swaying to help them to burp is one thing, but it’s not the best time for a dance party.
- Try to feed them small amounts more frequently so their tummies don’t get overfull.
- Allow time to burp your baby during and after their feeds.
- If you’re breastfeeding, avoid some of the foods that typically cause upset tummies in babies — such as onions, garlic, and chilli.
You might also be interested in:
When Do Babies Crawl?
When Do Babies See Color?
When Do Babies Start Talking? A Guide for Mamas
When Do Babies Walk? The Timeline for Toddling
When Do Babies Say Mama?
When do Babies Eyes Change? We Asked the Expert!
When Do Babies Roll Over?
When Do Babies Start Cooing?
How Many Burp Cloths Do I Need?